Rodriguez: An Open Letter to the City of Garden Grove and Developers Trying to Monetize Willowick-Residents of Color will not be Tokenized

In her piece, Karen Rodriguez, born and raised in Santa Ana, CA and an organizer for the Rise Up Willowick coalition, responds to Kelsey Brewer’s, of Jamboree Housing, Op-Ed piece. Rodriguez dispels Brewers’ claims that Jamboree’s proposal responds to the needs of residents. Rodriguez portrays residents’ needs and vision for the Willowick Golf course based on ongoing community outreach and organizing that began nearly two years ago. For decades, residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Willowick Golf Course, Buena Clinton in Garden Grove and Santa Anita in Santa Ana, have experienced disinvestment; however their vision is clear. The community will not be tokenized by the City or developers; they have the right to self-determine the future of their neighborhood.

Zuniga: How COVID-19 Confirms the Need for Housing Security in Orange County

This Op-Ed sheds light on important lessons that the novel Coronavirus is teaching us — as the Coronavirus spreads, homelessness and housing instability are major concerns for many people living in Orange County, especially communities such as the ones living near the Willowick Golf Course. It is in times of increased anxiety, as we take precaution of the Coronavirus, that one finally recognizes how important it is to have a home to go to and stay safe when the media and local officials repeatedly state ‘stay home’. Yet, not everyone has the privilege to stay home. And, for many working class families, the Coronavirus is threatening to exacerbate the economic struggle and it places the most vulnerable at risk.

Development Impacted Two Neighborhoods Differently in Santa Ana

Residents of both the Santa Anita neighborhood and Park Santiago neighborhood agree the Council has ignored their opposition to development near their homes — but residents of Santa Anita, a lower-income and predominantly Latino area, say they weren’t listened to as much as residents of Park Santiago, which has more white and higher-income residents.